Scorpion continues to unleash rare action/exploitation titles from the Seventies and this one Director Geoffrey Reeve's 'PUPPET ON A CHAIN'- 1971 is one of the most underrated of them all. Resembling a Euro Spy film from the Sixties , it mostly resembles a James Bondian caper fusing British and American filmmakers with some Norwegian touches along the way. Writer Alistair MacLean was having a virtual renaissance with no less than five of his novels seeing big screen adaptations through out the Sixties. Here we have Dutch actor Sven-Bertil Taube who was popular in his home country and US actress Barbara Parkins fresh from Director Mark Robson's 'VALLEY OF THE DOLLS'-1967 and heavy television work teamed up to fight the bad guys and stiff upper lipped Brits Alexander Knox and Patrick Allen trying to block them every step of the way. The only flaw of the film is its swinging sixties atmosphere which was dated even at this films release and is much more so now not being aided by the wacka-wacka rhythms of composer Piero Piccioni's music score with its outdated Farfisa organ refrains. The film does, however , emerge as a taut, gritty affair about drug smuggling utilizing bibles and puppets as the carriers. Taube plays Sherman , a bitter edge of burnout agent hired to stop the operation. The film really explodes midway through its running time when Sherman is being tortured by Maynard, assassin extroadinaire played beautifully by character actor Vladek Sheybal, the memorable chess player who gets his comeuppance at the beginning of Director Terence Young's 'FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE'- 1964. After his escape, Sherman pursues Maynard in revenge mode but the filmmakers pull a surprise: instead of the usual epic car chase so prolific in action films of that period, they use speedboats as their weapons. The film then shifts into adrenalin gear as the sequence culminates in a tensely edited chase through the canals of Amsterdam all under the brilliant auspices of co-director Don Sharp and which emerges as one of the best chases ever filmed. Future Bond opuses Director Guy Hamilton's 'LIVE AND LET DIE'- 1973 and Director Michael Apted's 'THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH'-1999 would try to out due the boat chase thrills in their sequences but are quickly left in the dust after the brilliance of Sharp's technique of filmmaking in 'PUPPETS' revenge motif surroundings. After the chase, however, the film grinds to a halt and ends tragically which may have turned off audiences at the time. Scorpion deserves kudos for resurrecting this excellent actioner into the digital age with a beautiful 1.85 transfer making it look fresh and vibrant. MacLean would have 2 other British/American co-productions filmed after this -Director Michael Tuchner's 'FEAR IS THE KEY'-1973 and Director Etienne Perier's 'WHEN EIGHT BELLS TOLL'-1972 which have yet to see digital releases in the states. This film, however, should keep Maclean fans sated until then.